For me, Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world. It has everything – great food, nightlife, shopping, history, a beautiful skyline, and a harbour with Chinese junks and ferries, just to start. It also has some fabulous hotels with excellent service to match. Whenever I’ve stayed in Hong Kong, I’ve stayed on the Kowloon side. This time I decided to try the Central side. Central is really the more attractive part of the city. It is located in the heart of the business and fashion district, as well as the center of nightlife. To some, it is a concrete jungle, but to me, it is the most vibrant. It is located close to Victoria Peak, where you will get breathtaking views of the city.
We decided to try the Landmark Mandarin Oriental at 15 Queen’s Rd in Central for our base. It is the younger, more stylish sister of the original Mandarin Oriental, also located nearby in Central. Although our hotel had no harbour view, it was a five star, intimate retreat in the heart of Hong Kong’s action. It offered newly renovated luxurious and spacious rooms, fine dining, with a two-star Chinese restaurant Amber and a three-star Japanese eatery Sushi Shikon, along with the MO Bar, a great hangout at night, and a lavish buffet breakfast in the morning. There is also Somm restaurant, led by sommeliers offering French Bistro cuisine and a wine list, featuring 100 wines and sakes by the glass. A two-floor, 25,000 square foot spa, with a 24-hour gym, sauna, steam room, pilates and yoga studios, and an indoor pool. Did I mention Hong Kong is a shoppers paradise? Attached to the hotel, with direct access, is the Landmark Shopping Mall, perhaps Hong Kong’s most deluxe, designer paradise. If it is electronics you are after, just walk out the front door of the hotel. But, what makes this hotel a standout is the level of service. A hotel where every staff member seems to know your name, from a doorman who is ready to offer directions and advice to superb customer service from concierge. However, the real test is how they handle an emergency situation. We were in Hong Kong at the height of turmoil and mass protests. The hotel contacted us at our restaurant one evening to warn us of a protest going on outside our hotel, a rarity in Central. We did get caught up in the protests on our way back and even got sprayed with tear gas. They told us where to go that was safe. They sent two senior members from their staff to retrieve us, offering us fresh towels and waters for our eyes and then escorted us safely back to our hotel through back ways. We would have never been able to find these safe side streets on our own. Now, that is what I call a professional level of service that goes above and beyond.
Our room was a junior suite done in a calming colour palette, featuring modern and elegant furnishings. The bathroom, one of the best I’ve seen, was huge with a large spherical deep soaking tub, a separate rainfall shower, two separate areas with sinks for prepping, and lovely amenities. There were special touches, like the yoga mat in the closet, an eco-friendly water bottle, handmade chocolates in the chill cabinet, and wine in test tube bottles. When we arrived, we received delicious cookies and welcome snacks. The room had state-of-the-art technology and high-end bedding. This included lots of room to spread out in the separate living room, desk area, or kitchenette area.
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is an urban sanctuary. Few hotels manage to combine location in the vortex of the financial and luxury shopping district, sublime service, culinary flair with imaginative food, style, atmosphere and a convenient address. With only 98 rooms and suites, you don’t feel like you are invisible to the staff.
True to its brand, the Landmark is serious when they provide you with a luxury level of facilities in the heart of Hong Kong. If you can get over the idea of not having a fabulous view from your hotel room, you will be rewarded with a tranquil, contemporary sophisticated retreat; an urban oasis for well-heeled travelers. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental sets new standards in Asia and abroad for ultra-chic accommodations and customer service that’s unparalleled.
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